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Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger's, Depression, and Other Disorders Kindle Edition
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Of course, as I like to include in all my behavioral health reviews (Which I've been writing a lot of in the past six months, as I think it is only right to follow up on the successes and failures we have had with feedback for others to reflect upon) this book will not give you the whole picture. I recommend 'Parenting a Child Who Has Intense Emotions' by Harvey and Penzo, Dr Greene's 'They Explosive Child' and finding a good therapist for both yourselves and your child because whoever your child is and whoever YOU are, you are facing a complicated picture with many facets.
But yes, this was one piece of our puzzle that fit very snugly. When my son was very young, people would see him reading at three or building fractal-like designs with his blocks and say, "It must be WONDERFUL that he is so smart!" And yes, of course it is, but it comes with its own problems, to be sure! Of my three sons, I have always playfully called him my 'complicated' one, not as an insult, but because it is TRUE!
First of all, this book is academically sound. I just finished my master's in gifted and talented education. So, for the last two years, I've read countless amounts of research on this topic. In my opinion, this book is the best overall summary of the characteristics and consequent risk factors of giftedness. It is well written, successfully tying together the best research on the topics while maintaining readability for the average reader. With short sections and example excepts, I found it an enjoyable read from cover to cover. Nonetheless, the organization makes it easy to navigate to reference a specific topic as well. There are also practical sections devoted to relationship issues including the parent-child relationship, and finding a skilled counselor. This book should be mandatory reading for any parent of a gifted child and every teacher, counselor, pediatrician, etc.
Secondly, as a misdiagnosed gifted adult, I found this book epiphanic. Throughout my life I had been diagnosed with various "disorders": depression, anxiety, adjustment disorder, and ADHD. Though I've always had a difficult time believing in these vague behavioral labels, I always thought there must something wrong with me. Finally, this book gave me another answer. Personally, I connected with the sections on overexciteabilities and existential depression. I am hyper. I do need less sleep. I do talk excessively fast. I am overly sensitive. I do worry about things most people don't bother thinking about. This doesn't mean I have a disorder. It's taken me over 30 years to admit that I'm intelligent, and now that I realize this life is a lot easier and I've found friends who share my interests. I really hope other talented children don't have to live through that. I feel like I've wasted decades of my life. This book gave me back the power to be me. Our gifted children are this nation's treasure and we should cherish their skills not condemn them!
Lastly, taking that personal epiphany one step further this book helped reinforce my questioning of mental disorders in general. Despite, the authors' unbiased approach, I found much support to the theory that so-called "disorders" based on behaviors alone are simply social constructs. Remember stimulant medication decreases motor activity and increases attention in most children. At what point are we as a society simply drugging our kids so they're easier to handle? I won't bore you readers more with my critical theory ramble as I now realize this is not the norm. Alas, my point is, that no matter why you're interested in this book, I'd be willing to bet that it has more than what you're looking for.